Industry Views

Monday Memo: The Conscious Shopper

By Holland Cooke

Joe Pags - Talkers MagazineWhenever possible, USA consumers will pay cash, and they’re paying-down credit card balances, per recently released Ipsos polling data.

Already coping with inflation and wary of a 2023 recession, consumers are in “need” vs “want” mode. They’re choosing generics and store brands and favoring purchases “made of high-quality and longer-lasting materials.”

One conspicuous exception to this growing frugality jumps-off the page…

Americans have a yen for vacation, if little else

“Alongside declining consumer confidence levels in the U.S., Ipsos online community members believe most of their cost-saving behaviors from the summer will continue, aside from cutting back on travel. Specifically, compared to the summer of 2022, they feel they are less likely to hold back on taking trips outside the home or making travel plans. After living through years of lockdowns and restrictions, they say travel isn’t something they are willing to give up in 2023.”

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Sales lead: Local travel agents

Local radio is still local businesses’ best friend defending against e-commerce competitors, and personal service is the silver bullet. Travel is an Internet DYI remorse category, after disappointing experiences squandered bargain shoppers’ precious vacation time and money.

Hear the copy? Travel agents who have taken tour wholesalers’ junkets can recommend in a seductive anecdotal fashion. They describe meals in mouth-watering detail. “After all we’ve been through the last couple years, you’ve earned it! And I will personally see to all the details.”

And brainstorm which other local businesses sell the “experiences” that consumers, increasingly, choose over “things?” It’s a clear trend that cuts-across all demographics.

DJs, talk hosts, remaining promotion people and local newscasters: Read the room.

This IPSOS report is a free PDF download that takes listeners’ temperature.

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins;” and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke